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Bigger, better, faster, more: A wishlist for sport in 2022

Bigger, better, faster, more: A wishlist for sport in 2022

Another year passes, another year in the pandemic, with new variants, new warnings, new fears and (by now) old protocols. Year 1 of the pandemic saw the almost unprecedented global shutdown of life as we knew it, including months of no sporting action of any kind. Then, the first wave waned and human resilience began to reassert itself. One of the great symbols of that fight back was the resumption of sport. In empty stadiums and defiant bio-bubbles, athletes took to fields and courts to resume old rivalries and begin new ones. New champions rose. An entire Olympics was postponed and then held mid-pandemic, the Games venues also eerily devoid of people. But the athletes shook off their bad year and the absence of fans to put on some performances for the ages, including setting some stunning new records. What then can we look forward to in the new year in sport, a year that begins again in the shadow of the pandemic? Here’s a list of things I’d love to see. More sport! Atop the list is a fervent desire that Covid-19 will recede into the background, or at least becomes less virulent, and allow life to move on at least a bit. The calendar for 2022 is optimistically packed with everything from the Winter Olympics to football World Cup, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, men’s T20 World Cup and women’s ODI World Cup, not to mention Grand Slams, Grand Prix and leagues of all manner. If they go ahead as planned, that would also be a sign that we’re winning against the pandemic. . The reign of Neeraj Chopra: The 23-year-old won us an individual Olympic gold in track and field. Let him be cast in gold and his likeness preserved in a museum. Better still, give him everything he needs and leave him to chart his course of global dominance in javelin. Wishes for 2022: that he crosses the 90m mark, wins gold at the Asian Games and / or Commonwealth Games and emerges triumphant at the 2022 World Athletics Championships. It promises to be a busy year for the genial, floppy-haired track and field star. . Indian women win the World Cup: They’ve made the finals thrice, twice in ODI World Cups and once in the T20 World Cup last year, and finished second each time. This, despite the abysmal neglect of the sport in this cricket-crazy country. As the team heads to New Zealand for this ODI World Cup, they will once again bank on the experience of those who got a chance to play in England’s Hundred or Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League. If they win, it will be no thanks to BCCI. . Karsten Warholm back in action: The Norwegian set the most incredible record at the Tokyo Games, running the 400m hurdles in under 46 seconds. It was arguably the greatest race ever run at the Olympics, where his competitors Rai Benjamin (USA) and Alison dos Santos (Brazil) also ran times that would have broken previous world records. May they all run more such races this year and set fire to the tracks. . India’s Test madness get madder: Since early 2021, Virat Kohli’s India team has been on a one-of-a-kind ride in Tests. From a collapse so bad that it resulted in India’s lowest-ever Test innings score in Adelaide, to a draw in Melbourne with one of the grittiest performances in decades, then the Miracle at the Gabba, this team has seen it all and done it all. They followed that up by hammering England at home and were on the brink of a series win there too. This year begins with a challenge of great promise — India could finally win a Test series in South Africa. . Tyson Fury in the ring with Anthony Joshua: Fury getting in the ring with any major contender is a treat, but a bout with Anthony Joshua would be special not just because it would give Fury a chance to become the unified world heavyweight boxing champion. It could also put an end to the pointless argument about who is the better fighter. .

lifestyle 2021-12-29 hindustantimes